THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
The Dreamtime, or the Dreaming, portrays the Aboriginal beliefs in spiritual existence. According to the tribes that first settled down in the continent, the Dreaming's roots date all the way back to the very begging of the creation of the world. The meaning and ideology of the term is generally not so well-understood by non-indigenous people as it is referred to as part of the culture of one of the early nations, which differs from modern perceptions.
The Spirits were the creators of everything. They made the land and the seas, the rocks and the plants, the sky and the earth. They were the higher power and the Australian Aborigines spent their lifetimes honoring this power, which guided their path and shaped their way of thinking. Not only creators of everything, which could be seen as well as felt, the Spirits also gave the Aborigines the Dreaming.
The time when everything started existing according to the initial Australians, was called the Dreaming. This is the foundation of the continent's culture. The origin of the Dreaming goes way back - 65 000 years back in time to be exact. The Ancestors of the nation shaped the land, forming some parts of it as sacred. The Aborigines were very careful and overprotective of those places, strongly believing in their significance.
The Australian Aborigines are known to have believed that the world didn't have any shape and was therefore empty. Darkness dominated, and life was simply asleep, but this changed when the creation began happening. After the Dreaming and the influence of the Spirits, objects began taking shapes and came to be. They created the four elements: water, earth, air and fire, as well as all the planets, the Sun and the Moon. The Dreaming therefore is a continuous process, which never ended. It is a small cosmos on its own, unifying the past, present and the future into one.
The Australian Aborigines' home riches so many vivid areas of the continent, including Fraser Island, Tasmania, Palm Island, Groote Eylandt and Mornington Island. The Aborigines had very strong believes in relation to the powers of the land, claiming that they never owned it - it rather owned them. The only reason they were able to call it their home is because they were looking after it and the land was taking care of the people in return.
Equally important to the Dreaming was the tribes' understandings of the disappearance of the Spirits. There came a time, when the creators of everything vanished from sight. Some of them were thought to have started living in sacred places, which is why the Aborigines perceived their homeland to be so sacred. The ancestors of today's Australians used to believe that the creators started living in rocks, in water holes and some went up to the sky to guide the people from above and keep them safe. Others transformed completely, taking the forms of the rain, the lightnings and the thunderstorms so they could be part of peoples' life.
Among the hundred's different Aboriginal languages, there isn't a word to describe 'time', because to them this simply doesn't exist. Dreaming and Dreamtime are used to replace it and summarize the ideologies of the Aborigines about everything they knew, everything they could see, feel and experience. This is why the Dreaming has such a vivid, and overwhelming meaning and has survived the obstacles of time. For the past couple thousand years, the Dreaming has built a rich cultural heritage that can identify a whole nation.
Read more about the Land, its connection to people and the way it has been perceived from different generations in the very first print issue of ORIGIN. The Land Issue covers varied topics, most of which remain related to cultural aspects of the land and its importance.
A lot of people travel to explore places and learn about them which is the message that ORIGIN wants to spread. With traveling, however, comes certain responsibilities that we should all be aware of. Elephants riding has become a popular way to explore locations by land. People have been doing this as part of their trips, mostly to places such as Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia and other parts of Asia. It is a common thing to see in certain places in Africa as well. We investigated the activity to explain why it is wrong and riding elephants should be banned everywhere.
Our first print issue studies culture and traveling represented through the land. We explored various location around the globe and learned what makes the land so valuable, which nations cherish it and how it helps us establish an identity. Traveling is important to us but traveling responsibly and making an impact is what we feel proud to stand behind. This is why riding elephants as a way of amusement should be reconsidered.
Let’s talk about the details. Elephants are very caring and extremely intelligent animals. It is a well-known fact that they never forget anything. When kept in captivity instead of spending their life in the wild, elephants die younger. Unlike in other species, this is common for the gentle giants and is often a result for stress.
Many African cultures respect elephants, believing they symbolize strength, loyalty and power. However, power can be a very tender concept. Elephant used as a tourism tool suffer from great pain daily. Elephants can be hurt very severely from the weight of carrying people and a trainer on their backs. The reason for this is the design of their spines. They have sharp protrusions, extending upwards from their spine instead of having round spinal disks. The protrusions and the tissue that serves to protect them can be harmed easily from weight pressure. Once a damage to their spine has been made, there is no going back and sometimes the harm can be irreversible. While this can’t be physically seen, the harm that the chairs can do to the elephants’ skin is. It is often the case that the chairs and the weight on their back can damage the animal’s skin and cause pain to their body. The chair, called Howdah, that gets attached to their backs, rubs on their skin and can cause blisters, which can sometimes get infected.
The training that elephants are required to go through when in captivity sometimes adopts a traditional Thai ‘phajaan’ or ‘crush’ technique. Explaining the technique would compare it to the animals’ spirits constantly and continuously being broken by the means of torture and social isolation. This is done in order to tame them. Elephants are wild animals, this is their nature as they are born in such conditions. Making them safe and obedient around people requires them to go through such training. As horrible as it sounds, in some places young elephants are taken away from their mothers to be abused with nails, bull hooks and bamboo sticks to make them obey rules, given by people. The animals often lack sleep and are starved to become submissive.
Actions from such nature are cruel and harmful as the technique is used to crash the animals’ spirit. Once wild and free, elephants become a source of tourism and entertainment. Nobody, who cared about sustainable tourism should ever ride an elephant.
In a sense, elephants have a human soul. They socialise and feel everything – pain, happiness, grief, sadness etc. They spend their life building families and finding friends. The largest land animals are a gift from nature and it is our responsibility to take special care of them and make sure they live according to their nature. Many animals, who are kept in captivity, are forced to live in isolation and carry heavy loads all day long, which is a wrong way to treat them. Their strength and power shouldn’t be abused but treated gently and celebrated by people. Elephants require minimal care to stay happy and healthy, which comes from giving them freedom to behave naturally and socialise. It is our responsibility to be culturally aware while traveling and make sure to spread awareness about the problem.
You can read the rest of the article as published in the LAND issue.
SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL ACTIVITIES TO TRY OUT THIS SUMMER
From freediving to bambike island ecotours, these are NOMADSofORIGIN Magazine’s top summer activities for a sustainable vacation in the Philippines
Words: Aleksandra Georgieva
Photography: Aachal Lal, Jed Villejo, Zhanjiang Chen, Jack Cross, Oliver Sjostorm, Will Steward, Alex Perez, Ines Alvarez, Kevin Mccutcheon
01 September 2019
Sustainable travel gains the attention of more and more vacationers and travel companies. Eco-tourism is all about creating positive long-term impact on the environment and local communities alike. Organisations that emphasize on trips’ social perspective, strive to educate travellers to aim for sustainability through small decisions. For example, eating locally is a great way to explore a destination, while ensuring that the money you spend will stay in the local community.
The Southeast Asian nation in the Philippines should make every sustainable traveller’s bucket list. Here are some eco-friendly practices that will allow you to explore tourist areas across the Philippines while giving back to the planet.
Freediving is a natural way to explore the beauty of the ocean by reducing the need for resources and equipment. Seek for local companies that provide lessons on how to safely learn to hold your breath when freediving and returning to the surface only when you need more air.
Homestay is not available everywhere, but if you’re planning a visit to the Philippines in advance, it is worth checking for a Department of Tourism accredited homestay. The residents who are willing to host visitors can teach you a lot about the local culture, while you will also be benefiting a more sustainable local economy.
Cooking classes are another great way to try something new and even to gain a valuable skill. The Filipino cuisine is a vital part to the culture in the area. What is more, the taste of the authentic food in this destination is something you will want to hold on to beyond your holiday visit.
Ziplining is not only a great way to get a bird’s-eye view of the local scenery, but it also creates zero impact on the environment. We recommend you try ziplining either over Boracay’s white-sand beaches or over Sagada, near Echo Valley or Kapay-aw Rice Terraces.
Kitesurfing uses natural resources as it harnesses the renewable wind power. For great kitesurfing conditions we recommend visiting Bulabog Beach or White Beach in Boracay. However, limited number of visitors are allowed in the area since the intensity of the location’s popularity in 2018 forced officials to close the beach to tourists for six months.
Nature Island Tours are a sustainable way to explore the flora and fauna of an area by staying fit. The island of Boracay offers a range of tours, while the Manila Bay’s fame comes from the biodiversity on the coastal cities of Las Pinas and Paranaque. Manila Bay’s natural harbour offers visitors rich history and beautiful sunsets. Yet, the numerous commercial activities lead to environmental threats such as pollution, which locals try to combat. We encourage visitors to prioritise sustainable practices in the area as well.
Bambike Ecotours are offered in the city of Intramuros. Tourists can experience guided bamboo bike tours across the historic neighbourhoods, past the renowned Walled City. Adventurers can mountain bike across Sagada’s hill terrain, where eco-friendly tourism offers amazing views. A remote area in the Philippines, known for its well-preserved natural beauty and indigenous culture, Sagrada offers plenty of exciting activities for sustainable tourists.
Sustainable travel is not just a way to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet. It is an opportunity for an in-depth local and cultural exploration. The World Tourism Organization underlines the vitality of creating a positive economic and social community impact through sustainable travel. Eco-friendly practices and environmental responsibility provide tourists with opportunities not just to leave an area as clean as they found it, but to create a net-positive effect on destinations.
For those, who wish to volunteer for an eco-friendlier future, Giving Way is a great platform that connects sustainability enthusiasts with nongovernmental agencies. It allows volunteers to get involved in a variety of projects from mentoring young indigenous people in South Africa to working on Costa Rica’s organic farms.
Sustainable travel promotes the ideology that small eco-friendly actions allow each traveller to explore a destination while benefiting the local communities. Sustainable tourism has become widely available among the Southeast Asian nation in the Philippines, and above are some of the methods that can benefit your vacation and your destination of choice alike. Drop us a line at email@example.com and let us know wat other methods of sustainable tourism you practice during your travels.